But when we talked, Miller also made it clear to me that he sees immigration as a winning political issue for his boss.
“The American people were warned—let me [be] sarcastic when I remark on that—[they] were quote-unquote warned by Hillary Clinton that if they elected Donald Trump, he would enforce an extremely tough immigration policy, crack down on illegal immigration, deport people who were here illegally, improve our vetting and screening, and all these other things,” Miller told me. “And many people replied to that by voting for Donald Trump.”
Skeptics will note that most Americans did not, in fact, vote for Donald Trump, and that polls continue to show widespread disapproval of some of his signature immigration positions. But it doesn’t matter. In Miller’s view of the electoral landscape, the president is winning anytime the country is focused on immigration—polls and bad headlines be damned. (This explains why Miller is, according to Politico, leading an effort within the administration to plan additional crackdowns on immigrants in the months leading up to the midterm elections.)